The OF Blog: A look at the aborted Best American Fantasy 4 shortlist and where these authors are today (Part I)

Monday, January 30, 2012

A look at the aborted Best American Fantasy 4 shortlist and where these authors are today (Part I)

It was around 18 months ago that the decision was made to put the Best American Fantasy series on hiatus.  I was the new series editor at the time and I had just compiled a list of 66 print (and a couple of online) works (Alan Swirsky I believe handled all but a handful of the online submissions)  that I thought were worthy of the guest editor Minister Faust's consideration for the final list of 20-25 titles.  Glancing over that list, I found that there were several emerging voices to go with the more established writers and I thought that it might be a good idea to make a post listing these authors and recent publications, in case a few want to check out their works.  Order is based on the listing I did in August 2010, which was by order of story read:

1.  Leah Bobet.  Her debut novel, Above, comes out on April 1, 2012.  I see she has a blurb from Emma Donoghue, whose Room I thought was an excellent novel.  Pre-ordered this.

2.  Kelly Barnhill.  She has released a few children's/YA novels (the latest being 2011's Mostly True Story of Jack, which was an Amazon Best of Month for August 2011).  Just purchased the e-book edition, as I am kicking myself for overlooking this when it was released.

3.  Peter Beagle.  Beagle has written several classic novels and short stories.  His latest collection, Sleight of Hand (2011), is a must-read for those who either haven't read his recent output or want to discover a new author.

4.  John Langan.  Langan has twice been nominated for the International Horror Guild Award for short fiction.  I thought his debut collection Mr. Gaunt & Other Uneasy Encounters was excellent.  Just purchased his 2010 debut novel, House of Windows, as an e-book.

5.  Ander Monson.  Monson is an established essayist, poet, and occasional fiction writer.  His latest work, the July 2010 poetry collection, The Available World, looks promising (but I'm a poetry lover at heart).

6.  Antonia Clark.  No readily-found collections or books.

7.  Robert Mayette.  He has appeared in a few magazines, but no collections or books.

8.  Rachel Swirsky.  Swirsky has been nominated for the World Fantasy, Hugo, and Nebula awards in the past two years, winning the 2010 Nebula Award for "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window."  Her stories appear regularly on and they have appeared in several anthologies.  Her debut collection, Through the Drowsy Dark, was released by Aqueduct Press in 2010, which I recommend as a starting place before reading her excellent new pieces.

9.  N.K. Jemisin.  Jemisin's works, both short fiction and her novels alike, have been nominated for the major SF/F awards over the past two years.  Her upcoming novel, The Killing Moon, comes out in May 2012.

10.  Eric Schaller.  Schaller is both an illustrator and a writer.  His stories have appeared in several magazines, but I didn't find any collections or novels that had been released.

11.  Christian Moody.  Moody appeared in Best American Fantasy 2 and in other anthologies, but no separate collection was found during a search.

12.  Julee Newberger.  No collections or novels were found.

13.  Matt Bell.  Bell has helped edit at Dzanc Books, appeared in Best American Fantasy 2, and his 2010 collection, How They Were Found, was reviewed here back in late 2010.

14.  Deborah Schwartz.  No information was found as to any collections or novels.

15.  Fred McGavran.  See the comments to this post for what he has had published.  Looks interesting.

16.  Benjamin Percy.  Percy released both a novel and his second collection, Refresh, Refresh, in late 2010. 

17.  Aimee Bender.  Bender has written several collections of fiction and her latest novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, was released in 2010.

18.  Brian Beglin.  No information found in regards to collections or novels.

19.  Saladin Ahmed.  Ahmed has been a finalist for the Campbell and Nebula Awards and his debut novel, The Throne of the Crescent Moon (which I'm currently reading and will be reviewing shortly) comes out in a week in the US and I think later in the UK.

20.  Catherynne M. Valente.  Valente has had several award-winning and nominated short fiction and novels released in the past couple of years.  Her latest novel, The Folded World (November 2011), I would highly recommend to those who are even remotely familiar with the Prester John myth.

21.  Michael Blumlein.  Blumstein was nominated in years past for the World Fantasy Award and the Bram Stoker award, but he hasn't had any new collections or novels released since 2005.

22.  Eugene Mirabelli.  Mirabelli has been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Nebula Award for his fiction and according to his website, he has a new novel, Rento, the Painter, coming out later in 2012.

23.  Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig.  Ya-Chu Cowhig released a drama, Lidless, in late 2010.

24.  Jenny Boully.  Boully's latest novel, not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, was released in June 2011.  Just ordered a copy (not on Amazon)

25.  Joe Celizic.  Celizic has appeared in several anthologies, but no separate collections or novels.

26.  Christopher Boucher.  Boucher's debut novel, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, was released in August 2011.  Tempting to add that to the other purchases I've made.

27.  Deirdra McAfee.  McAfree has had several other stories published, but no separate collection or novel.

28.  Amit Majmudar.  Majmudar has released at least one poetry collection and a debut novel, Partitions (June 2011), the latter of which I read and enjoyed last year.

29.  Will Kaufman.  Could not find any definitive news on any collections or novels he may have had released since 2010.

30.  Joan Connor.  Connor's most recent collection, How to Stop Loving Someone, won the 2010 Leapfrog Fiction Contest and was published in book form in September 2011.

31.  L. Annette Binder.  Binder's debut collection, Rise, comes out later this year.  She is a previous Pushcart Prize winner.

Since this is taking longer than I had expected, I'll do the second half in 2-3 days.  So far, it's been pleasant to discover all of the accolades and awards several of these writers have enjoyed.  Hopefully, this will inspire some of you to investigate their works further and perhaps purchase/read a few.


James said...

I am extremely interested in reading work from Jenny Boully and plan on doing so. When I get some extra money, either this week or over the next couple, I will be buying a few of her books (The Body; [one love affair]*; and not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them) for my reading enjoyment/possible review. Possible review because I have never come up against the narrative blend of pose, poetry, and non-fiction that she apparently makes use of and doubt I will have the slightest idea of where to begin such a discussion. Her work looks very interesting and I am looking forward to getting my hands on it, which kind of stinks because I have grown used to the instant convenience of e-books and all of hers are strictly physical.

Neal said...

I think that should be Fred McGavran. And he does have a short story collection published by Black Lawrence Press (now an imprint of Dzanc Books). It won the 2007 St. Lawrence Book Award.

Neal said...

This is an addendum to my previous comment. I forgot to give the name of the short story collection by Fred McGavran. It's called, "The Butterfly Collector."

Lsrry said...

Neal, you're correct. I typoed that years ago from my handwritten notes and that explains a lot. I'll edit in a bit.

Neal said...

No problem. BTW, I love reading your blog (it's one of my favorites), and appreciate the time you put into your posts.

Lsrry said...

You're welcome.

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